Khoi Vinh just announced his new company, and it’s Mixel, a social collage-making app for iPad.
It lets you make collages—Mixels—from included photos, your own, or ones you pick up from the collages other people are creating. Mixels are saved and posted publicly for everyone to see and build on themselves.
Here’s Khoi Vinh explaining the idea for it:
Even better, for the very first time in decades of personal computing history, we have an ideal digital art device in the hands of a mass audience, a huge and still-growing user base composed not just of professional artists and early adopters, but of people from all walks of life who are embracing the liberating simplicity of this new platform.
That’s big. It changes what’s possible for visual self-expression in a huge way. Now anyone can do this — anyone. They just need the right software. Creating that software is what my co-founder Scott Ostler and I are trying to do with our new company.
It looks quite well done and it’s certainly an interesting idea that I think is a natural fit for children especially, but it does require connecting it to your Facebook account to use. That doesn’t bother me as much as it bothers others, especially because this is an inherently social application and I don’t think Khoi would allow his application to abuse it, but that does limit its users to people old enough to have an account. Why not allow people to create their own Mixel-specific account if they’d prefer it?
I may be way off on this, but I think children are the biggest group of potential users for this kind of application, and it should take advantage of it to drive its use. I’m sure plenty of adults will use it, but kids are the ones who can see it as a way to create something really fun and meaningful to them, rather than just a trivial app to goof around with. So get those users, get kids hooked on it, and build off of that into something even greater. I’m not sure targeting adults is the best strategy for Mixel.